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LAS VEGAS LDS TEMPLE DEDICATED

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Expressing his love for the 9,000 to 10,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in attendance, President Ezra Taft Benson presided over the cornerstone ceremony and three dedication services Saturday for the church's newest temple.

Speaking briefly at each service, President Benson repeatedly expressed his love for the congregation and spoke of the beauty of the temple."Never has there been so beautiful a day in the history of Las Vegas," President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, told the members.

"There will never be so beautiful a day as this day as we dedicate this house of the Lord, the crowning jewel overlooking the city of Las Vegas."

Church members at one time formed nearly a half-mile line as they waited in the warm 60-degree weather to enter the temple.

Eleven services will be held over three days to allow all members in the temple district to participate in the dedicatory sessions.

President Hinckley conducted the first dedicatory service and gave the dedicatory prayer, while President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the cornerstone ceremony.

Church leaders praised the faithfulness of the saints in Las Vegas for separating themselves from the worldly pursuits around them.

"The temple will bring a transformation, a rededication of purpose and an added strength if we resolve to keep the commandments of God," President Monson said.

Also attending were President Howard W. Hunter, Elder Russell M. Nelson, Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Council of the Twelve.

Elder Dean L. Larsen of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder H. Burke Peterson of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Presiding Bishop Robert D. Hales also attended.

"Let every one of us tell our posterity that at the dedication of the Las Vegas temple `I was there,"' President Monson said.

"Today we are storing treasured memories for all the days of our lives."

More than 297,000 people attended the public open house from Nov. 16 to Dec. 9.